When lofty goals and unexpected events collide

Photo by Zsuzsanna Kilian

In February I wrote about needing to finish something I started a long time ago: my Systematic Theology certificate program. At the time, I was about two-thirds into Hoekema’s Saved by Grace and had seven additional books to complete.

My plan had been to complete all of these by the end of June. However, it seems it was not, in fact, the Lord’s will to see this come to pass. Over the last few weeks, events I don’t need to get into here have conspired against me. The long story short is, I’m not even close to achieving this goal.

That doesn’t mean I’ve not made progress: since February, I’ve completed Saved by Grace (which took a surprisingly long time to read) and The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper (by Robert Bruce, another slow-burn book), and am now about a third of the way through Sinclair Ferguson’s book on The Holy Spirit. This leaves me with the following untouched:

  1. The Person of Christ by Donald Macleod
  2. The Church by Edmund P. Clowney
  3. Pierced for Our Transgressions by Jeffery, Ovey and Sach
  4. The Doctrine of Sin by Iain D. Campbell
  5. The Promise of the Future by Cornelius P. Venema

So what’s a good takeaway from this?

That sometimes it’s good to hold a goal loosely. I’m not going to complete the remaining five-plus books in a week. Some time ago, I’d probably have been losing my mind—anything less than full accomplishment would be considered total failure. Yet, I did still manage to accomplish something. I’ve got the still-to-read list down a bit more. Progress has been made and I’m a bit closer to completing the task before me.

So what’s the next goal with this? To complete The Holy Spirit within the next two weeks, and another book on the list every month thereafter. Lord willing, this will see me complete my program before the end of the year.

What goals have you set for yourself this year? How are you doing on them so far?

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  • worldprayr

    Aaron some good thoughts. Like this line here particularly. “That sometimes it’s good to hold a goal loosely.”

    This is why I do not use the word goal but target. I may not hit the bulls eye all the time but I should be able to hit the target. Which allows me to back up up aim and fire again.

    So it appears you hit the target now your aiming and shooting again remember the bow pulls to the left.

    Thanks for sharing!